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Frozen Locks

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  • Frozen Locks

    Hello all, looking to hear what works for dealing with frozen locks.

    I have found that if I put a few drips of lock lubricant in each lock in advance, i seem to have less issues with them freezing up. However the stuff at our local hardware store is a tiny little tube. I think it would be easier if a good product were in a WD-40 style can to inject it in there more quickly.

    Once a lock is frozen, i use a portable blowtorch to thaw locks out - however this runs the risk of damaging the door paint if I'm not careful, and since I have no heated office at my site and the propane tanks seem to freeze up if left in freezing temps, I have to store it at home. Which means that I always forget the dang thing and have to make a second trip.

    So - let's hear it - what products do you like to preventing frozen locks, and does anyone have any better ideas for dealing with locks that ARE frozen? For reference, most of my tenants (and my overlocks) are the Chateau C970. Does anyone go ahead and lube every tenant lock in advance to ward off problems?

    Last edited by Amy_ISS; 14th December 2017, 02:09 PM.

  • #2
    Small propane torch is the quick answer, but I have heated the key and that works. You would need gloves and pliers.
    Dave (Woodee) Scott


    • #3
      Fortunately, here in the PNW, it does not get cold enough for long enough to cause this problem. I have done the heated key before though. Just thinking out of the box here, how about gallon jugs of anti-freeze in a little squirt bottle before a lock is sold? You can get spray cans, with the long thin nozzles that push in to the spray button at the top, for spraying in to the key tumbler of your car's locks. That can be used at the lock sale or after on the unit. I know you want to help the tenants but that lock, once it is theirs, is their responsibility and you can bet that one of them will "accidentally" scorch your door paint if they do the torch thing.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


      • #4


        • #5
          Ok, please hold all judgments till at the end. Depending on the lube/penetrant chemical makeup, it will freeze in cold enough weather. For instance, WD-40 is a penetrant and while it does have some lubricating qualities it is not really for lubing. There are other spray lubricants that are not penetrants. Both of these can freeze in cold enough weather. Both may initially shock the frozen tumbler in the lock and get it open but the remnants that are still in the lock can still freeze. An actual spray that helps with a frozen lock, if chemically made so, will not freeze when left in the lock tumbler.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


          • #6
            I purchase Heet Lock Thaw from chateau and it works fine we sell the bottles in our office. With that said I use something far more High Tech for myself, my hand.

            Wrap your bare hand around a frozen lock, your body heat will raise the temperature enough to get the ice moving. You will need to hold the lock for 30 secs to a minute then turn the key and the ice will pop out.

            I prefer this method because I don't like the smell of lighter fluid on my hands or clothing from using lock deicing products.


            • #7
              Hot water. lol


              • #8
                One of those small butane refillable chafing torches (like you use for cooking) works well. The flame is so small that you can focus it on a pinpoint area.


                • #9
                  We always bang them back and forth a couple of times and it often works. And we have the back up hand torch. Because it is often windy it is important to have a real good self lighting torch.
                  Marc Goodin, President of Storage Authority Franchising
                  Self Storage Owner, Designer and Author
                  Self Storage Planning - Design - Marketing Services



                  • #10
                    We had to use the torch today in Indiana
                    Dave (Woodee) Scott


                    • #11
                      The easy solution out is basically heat. A blow torch is often the easy way out in such a situation but like you said, you need to be extra careful especially with the paint in the surrounding areas. However, at the end of the day, prevention is definitely much easier than a cure so lubricating your locks even way before they freeze would be a better and cheaper alternative.
                      Christopher James


                      • #12
                        Had to do it to a door today in Michigan. I have lock deicer I bought from the company. And/or I use a hair dryer. I had to use the hair dryer on the gates push buttons. Then some WD-40.....I hope that holds for a couple days.
                        Bill & Dawn
                        Shelby Road Self Storage


                        • #13
                          I live in Florida. What is this thing you call "cold" ?

                          Actual photos at

                          Feeling your pain... at
                          Last edited by RogerAgness; 13th January 2018, 12:11 PM.
                          "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal." -Matthew 6:20


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